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Need of secular law in Succession

There are two types of succession:
Intestate succession and Testamentary succession. Intestate succession means a person who is dying without writing a will than his/her property will divide according to different statute as per their religion. Hindu's intestate succession is governed by Hindu succession act, 1956. Muslim intestate succession is governed as per their personal law. Christian and Parsi's intestate succession is governed under Indian Succession act, 1925.

India has no secular law towards succession law. If Hindu male dies without writing a will than his property will divide between his legal heirs according to Hindu succession act, 1956. First it will goes to the class-I heirs. There are 16 persons in the class-I heirs. If there is no person alive from the class-I heirs than the property goes to the class-II heirs.

And if there is no person alive in the class-II heirs than property will go to the agnates and cognates. As per my opinion these provisions are not appropriate because it is obvious that in today's time most of the family can't live in joint family. So, what is the meaning of division of the dead person's property among 16 people?

That died person maybe not live with them or those people even can't take care of that died person, so why would they inherit the property?  Hindu succession act, 1956 also define the succession of woman's property. If Hindu female died intestate than her property will first go to her children and husband. If they are not available than it will go to the husband's legal heirs. It means it will divide according to class-I heirs. And if the legal heirs of husband is not available than the property will go to her mother and father. But it is possible that there are some people in husband's legal heirs who are available. So, it is possibility that the property may not go to the third degree unless Hindu female marry.

As per my opinion first it will go the children, husband and her own parents than it will go to the other people. In Muslim law, the property of the intestate will divide according to the sharers, residuaries and distant kindred. Muslim personal law has totally different provisions from Hindu law. One thing which is very good provision in Muslim law that Husband, wife, father, mother, son and daughter will surely inherit the property of intestate.

If these people are available they are definitely going to inherit the property which is the very good provision that every other personal law should adopt from Muslim law. As we already know that religious laws are bias in itself. In the Muslim law if the property will divide as a residuary to the brother-sister as it will go in the ratio of 2:1. This is clearly biasness that we already know. Sons get more rights over daughters. And we already know that every personal law has some provisions which is absolutely against right to equality beat gender and beat religion. Muslim personal law does not recognise about woman's property.

What should we do if Muslim woman has property and she dies? In Muslim law sometimes property will divide 1/3, sometimes 2/3 or sometimes residuary. It is very complicated to calculate the property according to situation at the time. Christian's succession is governed under Indian succession act, 1925 and the domicile law.

If Christian person died intestate his immovable property is divided according to the Indian Succession act, 1925 and the moveable property will divide according to the domicile law. Domicile means the person who is live in particular state or country for the fix period of time than he/she have domicile of that particular state or country. Why such provision is governed under domicile law? That person is Indian Christian but lives in other country, but why is this different for movable and immovable property.

If Parsi person died intestate than it will divide according to the Indian succession act, 1925. If Parsi person died than his/her property will divide equally to the widow or widower and children of that person. The property will go to their parents also. However Indian succession act, 1925 is secular law regarding the testamentary succession.

But there are some provisions which are only apply to the Christian and Parsi. What if a person marriage to someone who has different religion. Then there is a problem regarding which law would his children follow? For any matter related to family law, there is a one fixed question arise about the secular law. In order to reduce the conflict and complications, India needs the secular law in family matters i.e. marriage, divorce and succession etc. These personal laws are always violating individual's fundamental right of equality.

It includes both gender inequality and religion inequality. The current laws are also having some provisions against right of equality. Except Hindu law, no other law defines about the property of woman. Woman has also achieved her own property through her hard-work. Other laws should learn this provision regarding woman's property from Hindu law. One thing which is Muslim law have a good provision that 6 persons definitely get the shares and those people are the nearest persons of that intestate person.

Therefore, legislature should bring uniform law or amend the current laws. Current laws are not useless, it is just complicated. Legislature should change the personal law in uniform law with changing times and society. Legislature should provide uniform law to bring equal status and equal rights for all.

In last, I personally believe that people should prefer Testamentary succession because in this they ensure that property will divide as per their wish. In intestate succession, the property may not be divided according to the wish of died person. So, testamentary succession is much better than intestate succession. 

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